Beyond Neoschool: Spending Free Time
Two fluffy red dice tumble across the dusty ground, carried away by the whispering breeze. A bored-looking yellow Blumaroo stands leaning on a black cane, staring blankly at the deserted area around him. Several wooden Unis stand forlornly in their places, painted smiles mocking the emptiness of the afternoon. Where in Neopia could this depressing scene occur? Surprising as it may seem, this is the Roo Island Merry Go Round, a place normally swarming with Neopets of all ages.
The reason? It’s a Monday. Neoschool is in session.
As soon as they were made available to the public, Neoschools have drawn in thousands of pets seeking knowledge and learning. From morning until afternoon every weekday, candy store owners find their shops empty, neighborhood parks are deserted, and the Roo Island Merry Go Round is as silent as Geraptiku.
Countless owners and parents alike now find themselves with nothing to do. Their darling Neopets are busy listening to lectures and taking notes, and for the first time ever, the adults have to find ways to entertain themselves. Some, of course, relish the peace and quiet in their households, but after a few weeks, they will find themselves bored and restless. What’s a grown-up to do?
In fact, there are many ways to have fun without the young ones. While owners may be tired of playing games like Kass Basher and Turmac Roll, and while parents might be sick of shopping at the chocolate factory and listening to Moehawk, there are countless alternatives for adults to enjoy while the little ones are busy paying attention to Dr. Ballard and Mrs. Owen.
Of course, no young Neopet can resist the allure of Cheeseroller or Potato Counter, so most owners and parents find themselves dragged on day trips to Meridell. Other games like Tyranu Evavu and Kacheek Seek might not be your cup of tea. However, with the youngsters spending half the day at Neoschool, what better opportunity is there to strike out in search of new games, ones that might challenge the mind and sharpen the senses?
If you live in the kingdom of Shenkuu, it is likely that you own a River Rush board. However, a change of pace could come in the form of Kou-Jong, a relaxing yet difficult game of skill and perception. Maybe you call the Lost Desert home, and are sick of Tug ‘o’ War and Grand Theft Ummagine. Instead, try Sutek’s Tomb, which is a great puzzle game, or Word Pyramid, a refreshingly tricky letter scramble.
Perhaps Trouble at the National Neopian has you wishing you would never have to look at another bank again. Well, it’s likely that managing money in Plushie Tycoon would suit you more. This is one of the most challenging games available, but it is rewarding and appeals to the undiscovered entrepreneur in everyone. It might happen that sending the little ones off to Neoschool could be the opportunity to start your own small business!
While your Neopets are busy taking notes from Mrs. Green, maybe you can take a stroll through Neopia Central and stop in at some of the businesses you’ve always wondered about, but never been able to explore. Instead of going to the Chocolate Factory, you might try the Health Food shop. Dieting may not be an issue for the youngsters, but that doesn’t mean their owners and parents aren’t looking to stock the fridge with some organic snacks. On the way, you could browse around at Gardening Supplies. With all of your newly-freed time, perhaps you could start your very own garden. You could even grow your own vegetables and save some Neopoints.
Your Neopets might like to shop at Uni’s Clothing, but with tuition for Neoschool on your hands it might seem like a good idea to stop in at the Second-Hand Shoppe instead. Discounted prices are your friend, and sometimes celebrities even donate items there. I’m sure that your little darlings would be just as impressed with a shirt donated by Princess Amira herself as a designer label from Uni’s.
The spare time you discover in the mornings and early afternoons will open up whole new horizons in your shopping experience. No more trips to the Grooming Parlour; instead, you can stop in at Fine Furniture and pick up some items for your Neohome. After all, now you can finally get around to fixing the place up.
You used to spend all of your time chaperoning the kids, but with them off your hands for a few hours every day, you’ll notice that the Neohome could use some fixing-up. Cleaning is the first order of business, of course, so pick up a good old-fashioned wooden mop and scrub the place from one end to the other. Dusting and sweeping the floors alone could take up an entire day, but once you’ve eliminated the accumulation of dirt from years of neglect, it’s time to make that home you’ve always wanted.
Furniture arrangement is crucial. You might want to pick up a copy of Damp Cave Feng Shui — after all, your Neohome is probably borderline cave-like after having the walls being nearly knocked down every day by the bouncy youngsters. Stopping by Fine Furniture is always a help, and you might find a color or theme that you can apply to your favorite rooms. After a few weeks, you might not even recognize the place. Make sure to keep everything child-proof, of course. Every afternoon, when the kids come home from school, be sure to have them wipe their feet. Maybe pick up a nice doormat as the final addition to your finished project.
It’s no secret that every young Neopet would give up anything just to get tickets to one Moehawk concert. Perhaps you’ve been dragged to the Tyrannian Concert Hall for a Chomby and the Fungus Balls show, or had to buy a Twisted Roses Shirt for your star struck Neopet. After having your eardrums blown out every day by Wock Til You Drop, perhaps these spare morning hours will give you the opportunity to sneak away to a venue with more sophisticated sound.
There is no act classier than the Neopian Philharmonic. Smooth and stylish, this can provide the opportunity to make quite an event, even including lunch at a fine restaurant. However, since the Philharmonic rarely have matinee, you might change gears to the more hip Jazzmosis. Be cool with your speakers at home or try to slip away for a live performance, but in any case you will enjoy these sultry tones after hearing Yes Boy Ice-Cream blasted through the household all day.
It is the sad truth that there are few dine in restaurants in Neopia, but the silver lining is that most of them are adult-oriented. The most famous, of course, is Kelp, the epitome of eclectic cuisine. Having several waiters tend to your every desire is quite a role reversal for most owners and parents, although reservations are required. If your wallet is feeling a bit light after Neoschool tuition, you can always try some other alternatives. Grundo’s Café, for example, has a truly out-of-this-world menu, and the prices are more than decent. If you can’t make the trip out to the Space Station to sample Gargarox’s fine cooking, some of the meals can even be bought frozen.
One of the other rare Neopian restaurants is the Golden Dubloon, and although the atmosphere may not be much of a change from your own crazy household, it certainly does give you many stories to tell the youngsters once they get home from Neoschool. Not the ideal for the owner or parent looking for a relaxing brunch, but this cove is a must for any adventurer. After all, you could book a boat cruise to Krawk Island and make a round trip, as long as you get home before the kids do.
When Neoschools first opened, the emotions of owners and parents around Neopia bobbed up and down like Unis on a carousel. The initial sadness of saying goodbye to the little ones for half the day was replaced by the elation of sudden freedom. However, once the boredom of sitting at home all day set in, thousands were marooned in their living rooms wondering if the furniture could possibly be polished to a brighter shine.
As you can see, there are countless ways for adults to enjoy themselves while their young Neopets are away at Neoschool. Experiences that were previously unavailable and unknown have been discovered in a new light, and those too old for school can find that there is still much that they can learn and experience. When the youngsters get home and tell you all the fun that they had during the day, all you have to do is show them a few slips of paper—tickets on a ship to Krawk Island, boarding passages to the Space Station, receipts from the Concert Hall—and for the first time in years, you can mean what you say when you answer the question, “How was your day?”